Holding Accountable UN-Authorized Enforcement Operations: Tracing Accountability Mechanisms

Yf Reykers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Is the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) capable and willing to hold accountable the forces which it authorizes? Although it is an often-voiced recommendation that the UNSC should step up its accountability efforts, such as by installing more strict reporting requirements to avoid mission creep, evaluations of the effectiveness thereof remain largely absent. This article suggests that a combination of process-tracing methods with insights from principal-agent theorization allows for systematically evaluating the UNSC's efforts and capacity to hold accountable non-UN-led forces which it authorizes with a forceful mandate. Such an approach makes it possible to evaluate the causal relevance of particular accountability mechanisms, including reporting requirements, for avoiding mission creep. This is illustrated by an analysis of the NATO-led intervention in Libya of 2011. It is shown how a process-tracing assessment can lead to conclusions about the ineffectiveness of reporting requirements when a permanent member is involved in mandate implementation. The article concludes by calling for more systematic research into the importance of the implementer's identity for explaining UNSC accountability efforts towards non-UN-led forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-553
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Peacekeeping
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • UN Security Council
  • accountability
  • process-tracing
  • principal-agent
  • Libya
  • SECURITY COUNCIL
  • CAUSAL MECHANISMS
  • AGENCY
  • RESPONSIBILITY
  • INTERVENTION
  • DELEGATION
  • DECISION
  • POWER

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